Masham Means Evening

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Coteau Books, Apr 2, 2013 - Poetry - 88 pages
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It is six years since Canadian forces began their long struggle to hold Kandahar province. Ten years since Canada opened its embassy in Kabul and launched Operation ATHENA to establish security in the city. Twelve years since Canadian forces were committed to Operation Enduring Freedom to dismantle al-Qaeda's network and remove the Taliban from power. As Canada prepares to bring its troops home for good, Masham Means Evening is a poetry collection that takes the reader inside army camps, convoys, schools, markets, and villages, charting a young female soldier's tour through Canada's war in Afghanistan. Inextricably, vividly engaged with the human side of the war, Masham Means Evening recreates the ordinary soldiers and medics, the weary village leaders, the school principals fearing acid attacks on their female students, the "dangerous men" hidden behind a mask of hospitality – a microcosm of those whose fortunes have thrust them into the path of an endlessly complex conflict. Sensual lyricism contrasts with clean, spare language, bringing us quietly to the tragedies and small celebrations that happen in the spaces between. Images of breathtaking beauty are made fragile by a terrifyingly present brutality. These poems are a thin membrane barely containing both fury and grim fatalism at the new cruelties each day brings. It is an extraordinary debut collection rich in the images of a daily life forged from extreme circumstances.
 

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Contents

Kingston January 2007
1
Flights In
2
Landing in Kabul
3
The Road to Bagram
4
Souvenirs
5
Kabul University
6
Earthquake at Camp Julien
8
Electoral Candidate
9
Hearing from God
40
Fawns
41
Flights out of Howze Madad
42
Man from Uruzgan
43
Death Like Divorce
44
Omar
45
Mass Murder and a Dog Fight
46
Life on a Forward Operating Base
47

Knockoffs
10
July in Brishna Kot
11
The Morning Commute
12
The White School House
13
Firefight
14
Working for the Coalition
15
The Wrong Crowd
16
Repatriation and a Rainstorm
18
Helicopter Crash
19
The Generals Briefing
20
Casting the Net
21
Shades of Grey
23
Incoming
24
Soft Things
25
An Awning of Birds
26
Friendly Fire
27
Little Bird
28
Medics on their Break
29
Heavy
30
Fishing for Taliban
32
Optics
33
On the Wall
34
Start of the Rainy Season
35
Drowning in a Kharez
36
Killed by a Suicide Bomber December 6
37
Driftwood
38
Dangerous Men
39
Embedded
48
Panjwayi
49
Not Wasting Time on Griefs that Dont Matter
50
Halfway House
51
Seasons in Kandahar
52
Self Immolation
53
Life in a Cemetery
54
The Only Chair in the Room
55
Dust Storm at Kandahar Airfield
56
Forecast
57
Disconnected
58
Taliban
59
A Night in Hospital
61
Ahmadullahs Toes
62
August
63
Naming the Sound that Took His Life
64
Notes on a Soldier
65
Car Bomb
66
Burying the Rabbit
67
Market Scarf
68
Rain
69
Last Looks
70
Horizon Pool
71
Masham Means Evening
72
Acknowledgements
75
About the Author
76
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Masham Means Evening is based on Kanina Dawson’s experiences

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